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Medicare

CT Scans for Lung Cancer

by pharmacy on September 13, 2017

CT scanSince about 2011, some hospitals have been performing CT scans for lung cancer screenings. Typically, there is a focus on high-risk patients and/or a-pack-a-day smokers. It has proved to be fairly effective by increasing survival rates by 20%. However, it has been at the center of some controversy. Some doctors say there is too high of a risk of a false positive, which can lead to unnecessary follow-up visits, unnecessary radiation doses, and adding to patient anxiety. Fortunately, an eight-year study was performed that shows that CT scans are still ideal for early detection over the simple chest x-ray. [click to continue…]

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Chubby Checker Helps Advertise New Medicare “Twist”

by Toby Roberts on January 8, 2010

As of January 1, 2010, low-income seniors who use Medicare part D coverage are now eligible for additional help purchasing prescription drugs. The changes impact low income seniors by adjusting the way assets are evaluated to determine low-income eligibility.

Previous calculations required seniors to include the value of life insurance policies in order to determine eligibility. The change allows the exclusion of the value of insurance as well as exclusion of home and automobile values. The social security administration is urging seniors who may not have qualified in the past to reapply for the benefits under the new rules.

An advertising campaign starring Chubby Checker is slated to begin January 08 to spread the news to seniors.  The administration reasons that those who don’t recognize Chubby Checker and “the Twist”, made popular in the early 1960s, are likely too young to qualify for Medicare benefits.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34765715/ns/health-health_care/

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A large scale investigation of Medicare fraud by pharmaceutical companies has led to a settlement with Omnicare and ongoing investigations of Johnson & Johnson and other major drug makers. The focus of the investigation is on alleged kickbacks to companies that dispense drugs in exchange for preferential treatment in the writing and filling prescriptions.

The Omnicare settlement includes repayment of $98 million plus interest to federal and some state government Medicare programs. The complaint alleged that Omnicare paid millions of dollars to two nursing home chains in exchange for the sale of several of their generic drugs. The company has admitted no wrong doing as part of the settlement but has agreed to implement new training and company policies to clarify future practices. IVAX, part of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, has agreed to pay 14 million plus interest as a part of their settlement. The investigation of Johnson & Johnson is ongoing. [click to continue…]

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The pharmaceutical industry has reacted with a degree of opposition to the House passage of the health bill over the weekend. The bill includes the provision for billions of dollars that drug companies will have to provide the government over a ten year period to help finance the reforms. Companies have spent a significant amount of time negotiating the terms of the rebates. The government is convinced that the payout will be offset by the increased customer base once most Americans have coverage. [click to continue…]

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